The business publication has compiled a list of the most admired companies over all industries, as well as splitting the results into sectors.
US-based personal care giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) topped the category ‘soap and cosmetics’ followed by Germany-based Henkel. Estee Lauder, L’Oreal and Kimberley Clark made up the top five, while Colgate-Palmolive, Clorox and Avon came in 6th, 7th and 8th respectively.
Companies were rated by executives, directors and analysts within their own industry on nine criteria including investment value, social responsibility, innovation and quality of management.
P&G were the only cosmetics player to get into the top 50, coming 6th in the overall ranking. (Johnson and Johnson (J&J) appeared 5th in the list, but was classified by Fortune as a pharmaceutical player.)
The company is also one of three to have ranked first in its industry since the survey began 12 years ago (the other two are General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway).
So what makes a Most Admired company?
Unfortunately, according to Fortune, there are no easy answers to becoming a Most Admired company.
These is no common operating model that defines the companies in the top 50; however it seems that identifying and developing global talent is one of the keys to success.
Another shared characteristic of the Most Admired is a more stable company strategy and structure, which in turn puts them in a better position to grow even in a recession, argued Mel Stark from Hay’s Group, a management consultancy firm and Fortune’s survey partner.
Commenting on the companies at the top, Stark said: “they are more confident in their marketing strategies and as a result are more likely to use this opportunity for rapid expansion and a chance to take market share.”
In contrast, less successful companies are expending too much effort in seeking survival strategies at a moment when they should be focused on serving customers, according to Stark who cited the Detroit automakers as an example.
In general, the most admired companies are led by long serving chiefs and successions to new leadership teams run smoothly and hold no surprises, according to Fortune.